Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Experience with Amazon's Kindle Select Program

I just posted this at Jon Guenther's Ctrl+Alt+Pub "a multi-author blog dedicated to providing information about self-publishing and inspire authors seeking to publish their own works through non-traditional venues"...and decided to post it here as well.

A few weeks ago, when Amazon announced their new Kindle Select Program, I was not in favor of it. My reason for that was the exclusivity required to enroll your book/books. I had even posted at a blog that I would not be taking part in Amazon’s new program. The idea of giving books away as a promotional tool was not at all my reason for declining the opportunity. Over the years I’ve given many books away: mine, those of my late husband, Don Pendleton, and ours.

From the Amazon Kindle site: “ When you make your book exclusive to Kindle for at least 90 days, it will be part of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library for the same period and you will earn your share of a monthly fund when readers borrow your books from the library. You will also be able to promote your book as free for up to 5 days during these 90 days.” The monthly fund for December was $500,000, and for January it is $700,00. Sharing that amount of money should be enticing. I happen to be a Prime member of Amazon and have been for a number of years, and am now able to “borrow” many books free through the Lending Library.

I have over fifty books now published at Kindle, which includes more than a dozen of Don Pendleton’s books. A number of our books are also at Smashwords, and distributed to a number of ebook retailers, including for the Nook, Kobo, iPad.

But one of my books has been exclusive to Kindle, only because I had not gotten around to putting it elsewhere. I decided to give the program a try. On December 27 and 28, I gave my historical Civil War novel, Corn Silk Days: Iowa, 1862, away FREE. I was amazed!! Nearly 8,000 copies were downloaded. It was #1 on the Free Best Seller Lists, War Fiction: The # 2 book on that list was Tolstoy’s War and Peace! Other listings included, # 4 in Historical romance, # 4 in Historical Fiction; # 19 in Romance; # 77 in Fiction.

When the two-day promotion ended, it stayed fairly high on the Best Seller Lists, staying in the Top Ten of paid books under War Fiction. Today, it is listed as # 2 under Best Selling Historical War Novels in the Kindle Store. # 3 is War and Peace (a free edition), and War Horse is # 4. Obviously my sales and the Kindle Lending Library downloads are continuing.

I then added two additional books, one mystery, one nonfiction, to the Select Program. The results have not been quite as impressive, but my nonfiction, To Dance With Angels, went # 1 in Paid New Age Channeling, and # 1 in New Age Religion and Spirituality. Today, it remains in the Top Ten after a two-day promotion on January 1st.

So I’m happy! Sales have increased on many of my others books not in the program. I’d say this promotion may well be worth it.



Jack Badelaire said...

I'm of two views when it comes to the KDP Select program. I think it is a nice tool for extended promotions, i.e. enroll a book for 90 days to boost sales, but for authors just starting out, I think the legal inability to sell a digital copy of your book anywhere else limits exposure too much.

I put KILLER INSTINCTS into KDP Select for the first 90 days of its release, but when that time is up, I won't renew. I want to be able to sell via Smashwords, my own Gumroad store, and any other venue that comes along.

Still, I think it adds one more interesting dimension to the process, so an author should give it serious consideration.

Linda Pendleton said...

For me it has been a good promotional tool. In addition, I have a number of books still via Smashwords. Of course, you can always return to the KDP Select later on.